The Hawks (5-19, 5-7 America East Conference), who snapped a five-game losing streak, led throughout the second half, but UMBC (3-20, 2-9) cut the lead to one point five times, the last at 65-64 with 6:17 remaining after a jumper by Chase Plummer.
Plummer led the Retrievers with 28 points.
Andres Torres’ 3-pointer gave Hartford a 68-64 lead and his layup with 2:42 remaining made it 71-66. UMBC never got closer than three points after that.
UMBC, which has lost five straight, led by as many as 10 points, 33-23, in the first half before a 14-2 Hartford run, capped by Sikma’s 3-pointer. The Hawks went on to lead 44-41 at halftime.
Both teams shot exceptionally in the first half, Hartford made 66.7 percent (14 of 21) and UMBC 60.7 percent (17 of 28).